What type of outlets do you run?
We operate over 90 mobile coffee vans across the UK, using red Mercedes Vito vans, serving a fantastic menu of coffees, hot chocolates and teas, plus hot and cold breakfast and lunch menus and some delicious sweet treats too! We visit people at their place of work, providing convenience, regular visits and superb service.
How did you get into the OOH industry?
I was living in Australia between 2000 and 2004 and became a huge fan of the great coffee culture there. I wanted to find a scalable way of opening a nationwide coffee chain here in the UK and a mobile franchise model seemed perfect. In 2004, this was not a marketplace that already existed so there has been a degree of education and expansion.
How long have you been involved with the BSA for?
Since 2007. We joined because we were committed to implementing very high standards of barista training, product sourcing and coffee service, and we wanted to find a way to have that recognised. The BSA was way ahead of the game in terms of standards and recognition of industry leaders when it came to coffee or latte art, so it was a perfect fit.
What are the major benefits for operators?
Sharing of knowledge, raising awareness and raising standards of beverage service, as well as the network of contacts and suppliers that are always vital when taking your business forward.
Would you recommend that others join?
Yes, definitely – as long as they are committed to improvement and ensuring the highest quality standards are adhered to. The industry needs a nationwide standard and the BSA is in the best position to provide that.
What one tip would you offer on serving better beverages?
Make the time to get the process right, get the basic skills right and then practice, practice, practice. Managers or owners have to encourage staff to do this and allow them time and resources to do so.
What are your plans for the future?
Our immediate plans for the future are centred around sustainability and driving behavioural change in terms of the use of reusable cups throughout our customer base, while continuing to work on reducing the businesses’ overall environmental impact. We have a number of forward-thinking green initiatives set to launch in the coming months, so watch this space.